Weekend DIY Project: Leather Handbag Renewal

Disclaimer: The following project was attempted by a craft-challenged blogger.

I recently dug my favorite white handbag out of the closet, only to find that there was no way I was carrying that thing around in public.  I didn’t remember it being so dirty and ragged when I put it away last year, but there it was.

DIY: Leather Handbag Renewal

I know it doesn’t look that bad in the photo, but trust me, it more than lived up to its hobo moniker. Since it was an otherwise great leather purse, the thought of throwing it out seemed so wasteful.

That’s when I decided to get crafty… literally! I remembered seeing a similar project online and thinking that it didn’t look too daunting.

Below are the step-by-step deets on how the whole transformation went down.

What you’ll need to complete this project:

  • An old, worn-out leather handbag (light colors work best; can also work on canvas or pleather, but NO SUEDE!)
  • TARRAGO Dye Kit (comes in 88 colors; I used #502 Antique Silver)
  • Used kitchen sponge
  • Newspaper (to cover your work surface)
  • Latex Gloves
  • Basic kindergarten skills of being able to color inside the lines
  • 60-90 minutes of free time

I began by laying everything out on a flat surface and cleaning off my purse with a leather preparing solution (included in the kit) and my old sponge.

DIY: Leather Handbag Renewal
DIY: Leather Handbag Renewal

Next, I applied my first coat of dye (which also turned out to be my last since I ran out).  The kit comes with a tiny sponge and an even tinier brush.  I dipped the brush in the dye bottle and then used it to apply the solution to my sponge.  After the purse was mostly covered, I then used the brush by itself to touch up more detailed, hard-to-reach areas.

I’d also like to note that at this point, the project moved to my kitchen counter because I found it a lot easier to do while standing.

DIY: Leather Handbag Renewal

Finally, I let the bag dry overnight and awoke to this the next morning:

DIY: Leather Handbag Renewal
DIY: Leather Handbag Renewal

Not too shabby for my first craft project since grade school!

If you do decide to attempt this project yourself, I recommend getting two kits (especially for larger bags).  This way, you’ll have enough to apply a second coat.

Got a good DIY project you’d like to share?  Get at me, and it might be featured in an upcoming post!

You Might Also Like

  • preppywithatwist June 21, 2010 at 8:29 am

    What a great idea! Is the color fast? I.E. it won’t rub off on your clothes? That’s the only thing I would worry about.

    • ClosetConfections June 21, 2010 at 9:29 am

      Yes, the dye is color fast. That’s one of the first things I checked before using it.

  • Ayesha June 21, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I was just wondering how to renew a pair of leather sandals. Thank you.

  • K. Denise June 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

    This was great dear! I love DIY’s!

  • Nada June 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I really love your blog, gives me a lot of fresh ideas,,,,keep it up!=)

  • whatiwore June 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

    This is a project I MUST attempt! Thanks for the how-to!

  • Alex June 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Wow came out beautiful! I think I’ll be trying myself soon!

  • Len July 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    This is awesome! I have a really gross white leather bag that I was about to get rid of. I had never thought of dyeing it, so thank you!!